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What Does an Executor Do for the Estate?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneyOne of the most important estate planning decisions you will make is choosing the executor of your estate. In most cases, the executor of an estate is usually a close relative or friend, but it does not have to be. The job of an executor includes managing and protecting the property of the decedent. The executor of your estate will be responsible for making sure that your final wishes are fulfilled and that your property is maintained until disbursement. He or she will also be responsible for paying estate debts and any outstanding tax obligations.

The person you select as executor of your estate has a tremendous responsibility. It is imperative that you choose someone who is capable of managing your estate effectively. Mismanagement of estate assets can result in losses to your beneficiaries as well as family arguments.

Executor Duties and Responsibilities

One of the first things an executor should do following the death of the estate’s original owner is to obtain at least several official copies of the state-issued death certificate. He or she will need these in order to fulfill executor duties. The executor must use these to access financial accounts and cancel government checks from programs like Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). A copy of the death certificate must also be included with the estate’s final federal tax return. It might also be the executor’s responsibility to handle the funeral and burial financial arrangements if arrangements were not already made.  

Filing the Will for Probate

In addition to obtaining copies of the death certificate and settling financial accounts, the executor should file the deceased person’s will for probate. Probate is a legal process where a court supervises the distribution of assets of a person who has died. The probate court judge’s role is to guarantee that the deceased individual’s creditors are paid, and that assets are correctly distributed to beneficiaries. Estate property cannot be dispersed to beneficiaries until a probate judge approves the deceased person’s will. If the deceased person’s assets were transferred to a living trust before he or she passed away, probate will not be required.

Contact a Lombard, Illinois Wills and Estate Planning Lawyer

It can be overwhelming to plan for a time that you are no longer around. Fortunately, you do not have to face estate planning decisions alone. Contact the experienced DuPage County estate planning attorneys at A. Traub & Associates for sound legal help with drafting a will or any other aspects of the estate planning process. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation with our compassionate professionals today.

 

Sources:

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T021-C032-S014-how-to-perform-the-duties-of-executor-of-an-estate.html

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-other-side-of-the-will-top-10-duties-of-an-executor

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